Last night, I talked Kristine into going to see The Amityville Horror with me. I’ve seen the original, and I was so scared that afterwards I made my then-boyfriend walk me to the bathroom and stand outside the door in case the ghosts tried to get me. Sadly, the new version isn’t as scary, but it’s ten times grosser. (Kristine gives the maggots a ten out of ten for realism.)
I’m not sure if I’m qualified to discuss a horror film. The worst cinematic scare I’ve ever had is from Sex and the City. Stop laughing, I’m serious! The scene when Natasha is running down the stairs after Carrie and she falls face first and breaks her tooth, ouch, my front tooth hurts just typing it. I was shaken up for hours after watching it.
It was scarier than the first eight minutes of Silence of the Lambs (Stick says it was only seven but I really made it a full eight minutes before I dove under the blankets and begged him to shut it off) or even Full Metal Jacket because I don’t spend a lot of time with convicted serial killers and I’m not in a war zone. But running down the stairs? I do that every day! And that’s the reason the original Amityville was so terrifying. The protagonists weren’t dared to sleep in a haunted house, they were just making dinner, reading a novel, putting the kids to bed, etc. The house terrorized them while they were going about their daily activities, which is a million times scarier than let’s-spend-the-night-in-the-graveyard movies.
One terrifying moment in the new Amityville is when the innocent, colorful fridge magnet rearrange themselves into a murderous message. When the message is gone a moment later, Kathy Lutz says “Must have been seeing things,” and goes back to her job of standing aimlessly at the kitchen window (she does that a lot). This is the point when I would be saying something more like “GEORGE! THAT’S NOT FUNNY! YOU’RE A JERK!” The advantage to my plan is that I’d soon be divorced and living in a tiny but unhaunted apartment with my three kids, which would protect me from the angry house.
Since I’ve been distracted even from good movies by a shirtless man, I won’t make too much of the fact that Ryan Reynolds’ abs stole the show. I was kind of annoyed when one of the corpses popped up in front of him, but fortunately that didn’t happen too often. And there was one scene when he’s getting out of the water… into the haunted boathouse, but still. I was really glad I was with Kristine for my inappropriate drooling. I have never seen Stick, in his Perfect Boyfriend-icity, check out another girl and so I feel a bit guilty when I suffer from a certain type of whiplash that sometimes affects mere mortals like me.
The film has one moment of comedy gold, when a new scene opens with a weird shot of the babysitter’s tongue, it seems she’s having a seizure and is possessed by the house spirit! But it turns out to be just a Gene Simmons impression.